While its sister restaurants in central Soho are famed for staying open until the early hours of the morning and serving porn star martinis in copious quantities (see Balans No. 60 and Balans No.32), Balans Kensington is perhaps the more sensible of its siblings. It closes at 11pm at the latest, for one!
Situated on Kensington High Street, just a minute’s walk from the closest tube station, this chilled-out café and restaurant offers an all-day menu featuring a wealth of brunch, lunch and dinner options.
Its cosmopolitan vibe and something-for-everyone approach to food is mirrored through homely interiors. Rustic tables, a checkerboard floor and big wooden bar in the centre of the room create a welcoming atmosphere and blur the boundary between restaurant, café, bar and pub.
From the brunch menu, guests can choose from an array of classic dishes including eggs benedict, French toast, shakshuka (titled ‘Eggs in hell’), porridge, avocado toast... You get the gist. Signature Balans brunch dishes include the lobster benedict, for when you’re in need of a spot of luxury, along with their ‘famous pancakes’ which arrive topped with warm maple butter and your choice of bacon, banana or berries. Plus, most plates come in at under £10, which for brunch in Kensington, is pretty reasonable.
For lunch are a selection of sandwiches, although they’re really more like burgers. Standout options include a fried chicken doughnut burger finished with a lick of gojuchang ketchup and a bavette steak flatbread filled with wasabi dressing and chilli gremolata.
Smaller sharing plates are also available for those between-meal moments, while dinner options include a range of international dishes – think chicken risotto, fish and chips, Thai red curry and Korean spiced tofu.
Whatever the reason, mood or occasion, Balans are likely to offer a setting and menu to suit - and you can stay for as long as you like.